Brigadier general Narbut-Łuczyński
|Born||February 28, 1890|
|Died||July 20, 1977|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards|| Order of Virtuti Militari|
Cross of Independence
Cross of Valour (4 times)
Aleksander Narbut-Łuczyński (February 28, 1890 – July 20, 1977) was a Polish lawyer and military officer, a brigadier general of the Polish Army and a veteran of both the Polish-Bolshevik War and World War II. During the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 he commanded the rear troops of the Kraków Army.
Born in Skierniewice, he graduated from the faculty of philosophy of the Lwów University. After that he moved to Belgium, where he graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Liège. After the outbreak of World War I he returned to Poland under foreign partitions and volunteered for the Polish Legions in Austria-Hungary. In October 1914 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, and then in March of the following year - to Captain.
After Poland regained independence in 1918 Narbut-Łuczyński joined the newly formed Polish Army, and took part in the Polish-Bolshevik War in the rank of Major, and then Colonel (since June 1, 1919). After the war he remained in the army and in 1924 was promoted to brigadier general. He served on various command posts in the interbellum. During the Invasion of Poland he commanded the rear troops of the Kraków Army. Taken prisoner of war in Romania, he made his way to France, where he remained in the officers' reserve of the commander-in-chief. After the end of World War II he settled in the United States, where he lived until his death.
Łuczyński was infuriated when the Jews of Pinsk chose not to participate in a gala he organized. On 5 April 1919, Łuczyński gave the orders for the Pinsk massacre where 35 local Jewish leaders were executed without trial one hour after being falsely accused of being Bolshevik plotters. The Jews, leaders of the local community, were meeting to discuss distribution of food relief for Passover. Out of 75 Jews in the meeting, 35 were summarily executed against the wall of the town cathedral. An investigation into the massacre was called by President of the United States Woodrow Wilson. Henry Morgenthau Sr., at the time a senior adviser, and formerly the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, was appointed to head the investigation and described Major Luczynski as “incredibly stupid.”
Łuczyński had been struck from the start of the Polish occupation by "disturbing aspects" of Jewish behavior, particularly by large bands of Jewish youths in the street of the predominately Jewish town. On April 5 he learnt of a Polish misfortune suffered nearby in an "anti-partisan action" and was disturbed by the "Jewish youth's arrogant behavior" in disseminating the news. According to William W. Hagen Łuczyński "embodied military anti-Jewish paranoia, discovering in trivia malevolent design and finding himself in a numerous throng of unfriendly foreign-speaking Jews, high fearful of ambush".
Honours and awards
- Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari
- Cross of Independence
- Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
- Cross of Valour - four times
- Gold Cross of Merit - twice
- Officer's "Parasol" badge
- Dr. Andrzej Nieuważny, Nicolaus Copernicus University. Atlantyda Polesia. Księga Kresów Wschodnich. Rzeczpospolita 15 June 2013.
- Województwo Poleskie, rys historyczny. Kresy News. Lwów
- Maciej Rosalak, Ponury konflikt wśród poleskich błot (A gloomy fight in the Polesie mud) Archived 2014-05-02 at the Wayback Machine Rzeczpospolita, 14-04-2011.
- This Day in Jewish History 1919: 'Incredibly Stupid' Polish Major Has 35 Jewish Leaders Killed in Pinsk, Haaretz, David B. Green, 5 April 2016
- Ideology, Politics, and Diplomacy in East Central Europe, Rochester University Press, Piotr Stefan Wandycz, page 65
- Stawecki, Piotr (1994). Słownik biograficzny generałów Wojska Polskiego, 1918-1939. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Bellona. ISBN 9788311082625. OCLC 32079247.
- Anti-Jewish Violence in Poland, 1914-1920, Cambridge University Press, William W. Hagen, pages 330-331
- The Jews of Pinsk, 1881 to 1941, Stanford University Press, published 1977 translated 2012, Azriel Shohet, page 374